1.67 - Different DNA

1.67 - Different DNA

There’re so many different kinds of music on Tortuga, and a few that blur the lines on what can safely be called music.  I feel like an actual tourist in this place. I never got more than a few hours to explore when I was out on duty. New foods, new places, new stores. I never really cared much about what shoes or clothes I was wearing as long as the colors didn’t clash. Now I find myself looking at expensive shoes and clothes just because they aren’t what I’m used to seeing. Edan lent me some money, but I’m hesitant to spend it, afraid I’ll find something better right around the next corner. More than that, I need a hobby or something. I never had time for them before but walking around window shopping doesn’t seem like a productive way to spend my time. Should I take up painting? Maybe I can try to make my own music. How am I not a complete person at my age?

Before I can spend more time thinking about potential free time and how I still don’t know what to do with it I get a call from Edan on my wrist comp. He’s been trying to track down an ethical arms dealer, whatever that means. It hasn’t been easy, and most of them are looking for prices that could only be paid for by black ops operations, private militaries or criminal organizations that are really good at being criminals. I can’t say I’m surprised by the prices, just surprised he didn’t have connections. I guess he wasn’t joking when he said there were things he wouldn’t transport.

“Big brother, have I told you how much I love you today,” Edan starts.

“What do you need help with?”

“Why do you assume I need help?”

“Because when we were kids, that’s how you would always ask for help.”

“You’ve got me there,” we share a laugh. “I’ve got some good news and some bad news.”

“Start with the bad news.”

“The guns are way more expensive than we wanted, and the guy doesn’t want to do business at all right now because of a family issue.”

“Well, what’s the good news?”

“Ethical gun runner,” Edan laughs.

“You’re a real unique individual.”

“Same DNA, but I’m one of a kind. How do you want to get the guns?”

“Same way we got things in the service. We do a favor for a favor.”

“I don’t do assassinations.”

“Doesn’t always have to be an assassination. Might be a recovering equipment, might be trading some technology.”

“I think he’s more worried about his family at the moment. Something neither of us know how to fix,” Edan stares blankly expicting some witty response, but I don’t have one.

“See if you can figure out what’s going on with his family. If we can help, that’ll get him on our side.”

I end the call before Edan starts telling more jokes. I know this whole thing has gone south and is probably really stressing him out, but he isn’t handling the pressure well. I think, or at least hope he’s stopped drinking so much. But I can’t be sure. I’m not tailing him every second of the day. Maybe Nastas was right, we should have just let this go. Trying to run an operation to get everything back might be too much pressure on Edan. He’s been smuggling things all over the galaxy, but it’s just that, smuggling. He hasn’t done anything like this as far as I know. But he’s my brother, my living brother. He grew up in the same terrible environment that I did so I expect him to be okay with it. Same DNA, but we aren’t the same people. He was right about that if nothing else. I’ve been trying too hard to make him be like me, or one of my soldiers.   

I wanted to stay when this was done. Explore the stars with my brother but I’m becoming a hindrance even if he won’t say it. Pushing him into confrontations he doesn’t want to be in, taking charge of operations, forcing him to reach out to costly contacts. I hope this all pays off in the end; if not I should be saving this money he leant me.  

Edan pops up on my wrist comp again, “Found out what’s going on with the guy’s family.”

“Okay, talk to me.”

“His daughter has gone missing. But, thanks to Tawa we know where she is.”

“We going to get her?”

“I’m already here. She’s been strapped into a virtual reality device for weeks. They keep the people alive, but it’s an extended simulation. Usually, you would take breaks but these people are running away from something, choosing to live fully digital instead. She likely wouldn’t want to go home because they rarely consider anything as home. They’re real virtual vagabonds.”

“Those things can be addictive; I tried a cheap version once, almost got me, but it was way too happy to be my life. Send me the coordinates.”  

“Let me know when you get here, I’m going to do some scouting. We’ll get the girl back.”

Same DNA, different people. But we do have similarities. We care about people; this girl is more important than the guns. We don’t even know if the guy will sell to us just because we bring his daughter home. We’re just hopeful that he’ll be grateful. We see the best in people, I just expect them to do the worst while he doesn’t. I wonder if it’s because I’ve seen war but he hasn’t. There’s no honor among thieves, but maybe there’s kindness. I don’t know. The location pings to my wrist comp, and I tap for directions. It’ll take about thirty minutes to get there, I really hope he doesn’t do anything I wouldn’t. 


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